Home Forums Thelema Thelema Aleister Crowley — Black Magician?

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  • #109733

    dom
    Participant

    @OP AC would admit that he fvcked up now and again hence his autobio was entitled The Confessions in which he openly admits that he didn’t live up to the “moral” standards set up for him in Liber Al in other words yeah he did “black magical” things here and there.

    I doubt that anyone here is Donny Osmond, Ignant has revealed a lot of stuff about himself that showed his own past shortcomings. I too have done similar here and there. Duquette has said that that’s what makes AC a good prophet of the aeon, he was so human whereas Buddha, Christ and Mohammed are seen as absolutely perfect beings after their transformations. Buddha apparently ignored people who asked him unworthy questions…. pretty rude eh?

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by  dom.
    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by  dom.
    #109736

    Michael Staley
    Participant

    @dom

    Duquette has said that that’s what makes AC a good prophet of the aeon, he was so human whereas Buddha, Christ and Mohammed are seen as absolutely perfect beings after their transformations.

    The distance of hundreds of years between now and the life of Buddha, Christ and Mohammed has probably more to do with the erosion of their “so human” characteristics. If the memory of Crowley endures for similar spans of time, perhaps his rough edges will be smoothed out too.

    Buddha apparently ignored people who asked him unworthy questions…. pretty rude eh?

    No, not necessarily. He wasn’t a performing monkey obliged to answer every damn fool question thrown at him. Why should someone humour idiots?

    #109737

    Shiva
    Participant

    MS: if Black Magic is causing change to occur to our benefit and at the expense of someone else, then we’re all pretty much Black Magicians …

    The definition I cited was by Frater Shiva (me, himself) who determined this definition in the 1960s by himself (myself). But it’s a bit tricky. Let’s look closer …

    I’d have thought. Getting a job at the expense of other candidates, making a few bob on the sale of an item, winning the National Lottery, etc., these and a myriad similar acts make us all Black Magicians.+

    I consider the totem-pole Theorum “Every Act is a Magickal Act” to be subject to a great deal of consideration and potential debate.

    However, my definition is limited to intentional Magickal work. Such as to steal one’s neighbor’s wife (even if just for an hour) or bewitching his cow so he’ll need to buy some from me. I include intentional mental efforts; I once had a high-ranking Mason tell me how he continually, day in and day out, purposely willed his father to die. The father soon fell sick and died. That’s my definition of of Black Magic.

    Now, if I compete with others and get a job (and they don’t) then that falls outside my definition as I see and teach it. There is no standard for Yellow Magic, but therm implies harmony & balance. So if I have an item, and I sell it at market value, there is an even exchange. Yes the buyer looses some money, but he/she gets the item they wanted. I don’t worry about this sort of thing.

    But if I sell an item for ten times its market value to some unsuspecting person, then that is simply “good business sense” by the lawyers, but drifts closer to (if not “gets included in”) to my Black definition.

    Yes, we’ve all committed minor (or major) errors in keeping a level playing field, but (in my opinion) it takes a conscious and willful intent to deceive or deprive another to be Black.

    Now the White Magic folks are the one’s who give everything away: food, information, support, without expecting anything in return. We’re all probably guilty of that form of divine foolishness in a greater or lesser degree.

    We can split the hairs again, but I don’t have time to delve deeper into the distinctions in this already too-long post.

    Yes, I agree with your concept. We’re all mixed up in black and white and the various colors in between.

    #109742

    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    @dom :

    How can the prophet of the aeon be a ‘black magician’?
    I anticipated the outrage of this remark though, didn’t I, dom (tiddle-iddle-i-pom), when I rather inelegantly wrote (as now, time was tight): “But of course, being A.C. and a 9=2 and the Prophet of the New Aeon we must make an exception and excuse him from any blame as he doubtless had his own very good reasons for behaving as he did way beyond the comprehension of far less perspicacious followers and otherwise mere mortals!” And even if I had the time, I would still be hard pressed to perspicaciously paraphrase or better express the words of ignant666 in the post following and which answered yours, which I would recommend you turn to again for reference with regard to this whole question. And to which I would only state that the point is not whether or not the IX “technique” itself works, so much as that A.C. himself “clearly believed (against considerable evidence) that it did.” That it would therefore achieve his objective here, i.e. the slaying of poor old cuckold Mr Foster. If only the technique worked better, it would be goodbye and RIP to him…

    Moral nihilism, dom?? But aren’t you implying though that A.C./ the Master Therion was meant to be one of the ‘good’ guys — and wasn’t he also an exalted member of that Great White Brotherhood, those hidden exemplars & Secret Big Chiefs of heap White magick?

    @ MichaelStaley :

    What is Black Magic anyway? […] Later in the same book [MiT&P], Crowley expresses the view that any deviation, diversion or distraction from aiming for the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is, strictly speaking, Black Magic (I can’t locate the passage at present). So what, then, is meant by Black Magic in the context of the original post of this thread?
    As the context involved Crowley, I had in mind a bit more the sense of the passage you couldn’t find, and which I can’t find either although I seem to remember it involved something like the raising of the complete individual in a vertical straight line in perfect balance?
    A.C. — the perfect Master of “Don’t do as I do, do as I say” magick. And who, being the “prophet”, dom could argue “Do what thou wilt” might also incorporate at a pinch.

    @shiva :

    Black Magic is “causing change to occur wherein the magician benefits at the expense of someone else.”
    Ah yes! That sounds like it could be the Devil’s Dictionary definition? And if not Bierce, it damned well ought to be!

    With rushed biweekly greetings from the local lib,
    N Joy

    #109751

    Tiger
    Participant

    #109753

    christibrany
    Participant

    93

    In a nutshell I think it is quite simple. If you do magick in an attempt to actively harm someone, then it is black magick. Also I would add that you would have to be the person initiating the quarrel so to speak. If it was self defence then no, I don’t think it is black magick. But just as in the courts, this is often hard to prove. I think it rests with the individual, if you feel your Will in that action is antagonistic/actively negative then yes it is black magick. As such, I think AC did do black magick on occasion but as he got older realised the futility from perhaps a karmic point of view?

    In regards to is BM in accordance with the laws of Thelema, I think that is too complicated for me to answer 😀

    93s

    #109754

    christibrany
    Participant

    Jamie Barter

    In response to your query of ‘After 3 days, it seems only half a dozen lines of feedback from two posters has been generated. Can the age of the dynamic cut-and-thrust of online debating about A.C. & Thelema be well and truly over, or has the novelty of forum participation (and not just Lashtal) just worn off? As OP, I will also administer the last rites to this thread (possibly unless anyone else gets it going again)…’

    I just say, I still visit here weekly, I just have less to say than I used to. I think I am in my doing-and-keeping-silent phase for the most part.

    Also I prefer forums and actual webpages to social media so I don’t have any of the latter. I was bemoaning the sad state of the Internet to my wife the other day, as in the 90s and early 2000s it was so much more fun and intelligent. If you were online you knew how to code your own homepage, and we made little groups and clubs. Now it is all social media trolling posting memes with no real substance. IMHO…..perhaps thats the subject for another forum.

    #109763

    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    As such, I think AC did do black magick on occasion but as he got older realised the futility from perhaps a karmic point of view?

    Yes I agree chris, but how much older (and Wiser) did he need to get? This was 1915 when a middle-aged (40 year old) A.C., after 17 years of solid magickal work and having crossed the Abyss “fully” seven years before, then supposedly progressed to the exalted grade of Magus. So, if he hadn’t managed to learn from experience by this time, what hope for all the rest of us?

    (This, apart from the fact that most people would already instinctively know that basically, never mind all the snazzy axioms and definitions, “If you do magick in an attempt to actively harm someone, then it is black magick.” Hence the thread’s title.)

    By this time, we would surely be entitled to expect a little better by way of example from someone purporting to be the Logos of the Aeon, ain’t it?!

    N Joy

    #109769

    ignant666
    Participant

    [W]e would surely be entitled to expect a little better by way of example from someone purporting to be the Logos of the Aeon

    Well, if we were, we would be endlessly disappointed by the facts of the man’s life, wouldn’t we, Jamie (as you know only too well)?

    It is the old dilemma of “The Demon Crowley” purporting to be “The Prophet Of The Aeon”. Either we, as david has done above, declare AC infallible, and beyond criticism in so much as the style of a cursing as it were, or else, as others have suggested, take what is useful and true, and admit the many flaws, shortcomings, lies, and bad acts that accompany the most useful guide for personal spiritual liberation yet made available.

    #109770

    Anonymous

    So, if he hadn’t managed to learn from experience by this time, what hope for all the rest of us?

    That’s exactly where my own questioning goes, after reviewing this rather sadly comic episode.

    The great Magus of the Aeon lobbed over half a dozen kill-strikes – most of them fueled by the supreme secret of IXth degree – at a feeble, elderly, uninitiated and apparently intellectually unimpressive man who STILL lived for 18 more years. This followed being obsessed with the attempt to impregnate an infertile woman who may or may not have been completely “playing” him [“Bro! Do you even Divination?” would be appropriate here]. He attempted to magickally eliminate her husband so that he could take power over her, officially wed her, and fulfill the aeonic prophecy that Gods themselves were supposedly setting in motion. In the midst of all this, he up’ed himself to the next degree with little more than a whim upon waking, then took time from his Magus duties to threaten his ex-girlfriend with a dagger and write a cowardly letter to her husband outing her affair with someone else. In the end, his solution for redeeming the episode was to dehumanize his female sexual partners into animal forms representing various initiatory Gods.

    This is a prime example of why I didn’t accept Crowley as an infallible spiritual guide from even the start of my Thelemic career, and now, simply content myself with gleaning what insights into the nature of the Will and its relationship to spiritual liberation can be made from such melodrama. For the record, I do think there’s some worthwhile digging there. But I also don’t limit myself to either his writings or example, as I haven’t seen Thelema being any more successful than the religions of the previous aeons at getting folks past the tendency to float towards whatever application of scripture justifies their desires and fantasies. Even going with the more sophisticated Thelemic definition of black magick rather that than the traditional “harm”-based one, we see here that even the (supposedly) top Thelemic authority at what should be the height of his career has a grave difficulty using it to guide himself past a basic narcissistic blind spot. My concern is that the current “Nazi vs. SJW” feud that makes so many Thelemic forums a worthless timesink may be where it all goes to die, apart from a few who would have likely figured out the way to the gold in whatever spiritual framework they landed.

    #109771

    Michael Staley
    Participant

    @SrMNA

    This is a prime example of why I didn’t accept Crowley as an infallible spiritual guide from even the start of my Thelemic career

    Although I agree with much of what you say, I found this statement somewhat surprising. I have never regarded anyone as being “an infallible spirirual guide” – whether it be Kenneth Grant, Austin Spare, Aleister Crowley, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ramana Maharshi, or anybody else.

    @JamieBarter

    This was 1915 when a middle-aged (40 year old) A.C., after 17 years of solid magickal work and having crossed the Abyss “fully” seven years before, then supposedly progressed to the exalted grade of Magus. So, if he hadn’t managed to learn from experience by this time, what hope for all the rest of us? . . . By this time, we would surely be entitled to expect a little better by way of example from someone purporting to be the Logos of the Aeon . . .

    There are two things here with which I have reservations. In the first place, in my opinion it was not Aleister Crowley who was “the Logos of the Aeon” or who “progressed to the exalted grade of Magus”; rather, Aleister Crowley was a restricted and superficial aspect of a wider and deeper entity. In the second place, I think it’s a mistake to expect that magical and mystical experience should make someone a “better” person. When it comes to Crowley, yes he often behaved badly, treated other people abominably, and so on and so forth. but he produced a body of work which is superb, and which triggers a great deal of insights and transformations.

    There’s a little too much emphasis on personality for my liking. For the last few weeks I have been developing a specific magical practice and, in common with other such practices over the years and indeed the decades, there is experience of ranges of consciousness which extend way beyond “Michael Staley”, and of which “Michael Staley” is just an aspect.

    #109772

    Anonymous

    I have never regarded anyone as being “an infallible spiritual guide” – whether it be Kenneth Grant, Austin Spare, Aleister Crowley, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ramana Maharshi, or anybody else

    Nor have I, but I spent the last 20-something years around enough who do to feel the general notice is warranted.

    #109773

    Shiva
    Participant

    6. During the whole of this elementary study and practice he will do wisely to seek out and attach himself to, a master, one competent to correct him and advise him. Nor should he be discouraged by the difficulty of finding such a person.

    7. Let him further remember that he must in no wise rely upon, or believe in, that master. He must rely entirely upon himself, and credit nothing whatever but that which lies within his own knowledge and experience.

    Liber E

    #109776

    dom
    Participant

    @ignant666 and all

    Well, if we were, we would be endlessly disappointed by the facts of the man’s life, wouldn’t we, Jamie (as you know only too well)?
    It is the old dilemma of “The Demon Crowley” purporting to be “The Prophet Of The Aeon”. Either we, as david has done above

    I did initially but then I realized I was wrong see my #109733

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by  dom.
    #109779

    Tiger
    Participant

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